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Low Traffic Neighbourhood: Kelham Island in line for radical redesign

New walking and cycling routes set up in Kelham Island and Shalesmoor.

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The Ball Street Bridge will be closed to vehicles under the plans. Photo by Enchufla Con Clave (Wikimedia Commons).

Labour councillors have announced that Sheffield's first Low Traffic Neighbourhood will be created in Kelham Island, as walking and cycling schemes receive a boost during the pandemic.

The plan will mean that vehicles can only drive in and out of the area at specific points, and can't drive through it. Supporters say this will reduce traffic, speed and pollution, and lead to safer and more lively streets.

Alma Street will be closed to traffic outside the Fat Cat pub and the Ball Street Bridge. Both points will remain passable to pedestrians and cyclists.

"With public transport limited due to the pandemic it is more important than ever we help people get to where they need to be," said Cabinet Member for Transport Cllr Bob Johnson.

"We understand many people still rely on their car but we also need to focus on more sustainable methods of travel. This will reduce congestion but also improve air quality and help tackle the climate emergency."

Roads providing access to Kelham's businesses and residents like Green Lane, Dun Street and Russell Street will remain open to traffic, with exiting at Cornish Street or Russell Street.

"It's great to see the proposal of a low traffic neighbourhood for Kelham Island," Dexter Johnstone of CycleSheffield told Now Then.

"By removing through motor traffic while still allowing access for residents and businesses, Kelham Island will become a more attractive place to live, work and socialise."

Active travel changes have already been made in the city centre, with Pinstone Street now closed to traffic outside the Peace Gardens.

According to a recently released Sheffield City Region plan, the Kelham Island scheme will be the first of many Low Traffic Neighbourhoods covering nearly 200 square miles across the region.

Walkley residents have recently launched a campaign for a similar scheme, calling for more space for pedestrians and the elimination of through traffic.

"It's something we've asked for for a long time, and we'd love to see them implemented across Sheffield residential areas," said Johnstone.

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